Friday, December 23, 2016

Stars and Stripes Daily Headlines

VA discloses ratings of its 146 medical centers
Most medical centers serving veterans across the country are improving, according to a once-withheld rating system just released by the Department of Veterans Affairs. Yet, the ratings show several facilities racked by scandal continue to struggle.

AFRICOM achieves ‘core objectives' and ends Libya airstrikes
U.S. Africa Command has ended its air campaign against the Islamic State group in Libya after carrying out nearly 500 airstrikes in support of local ground forces who pushed the militants from their coastal stronghold.

Navy, Marines go it alone in Alligator Dagger exercise
The Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group and 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit completed a two-week exercise with no shore-side assistance near Djibouti Thursday, officials said.

Inquiry says Snowden in contact with Russia's spy services
Former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden remains in contact with Russian intelligence services, according to a bipartisan congressional report released at a time when Russia is considered a top national security concern.

Iraq bombs kill 23, disrupt return to normal life in Mosul 
Repeated attacks by IS militants in parts of Mosul "liberated" by Iraqi forces - including mortars, sniper fire, suicide car bombs and sneak attacks - are plaguing attempts by troops to advance in the city and shaking residents who are trying to find some semblance of a normal life again.

Navy’s most expensive warship gets new commander
Capt. James A. Kirk relinquished command of the USS Zumwalt, the Navy’s biggest, most expensive and technologically advanced warship, to Capt. Scott A. Tait during a ceremony Tuesday at Naval Base San Diego.

On Pearl Harbor, history a matter of perspective for Japan, US
The Pearl Harbor attack that led the United States into WWII is normally a historical footnote in Japan, rarely discussed on anniversaries or in depth at schools. That changed when Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced in early December he would visit Pearl Harbor with President Barack Obama to offer “comfort to the souls of the victims.”

Pacific Fleet releases photos of drone returned by China
U.S. Pacific Fleet released photos today of a Navy “ocean glider” unmanned underwater vehicle taken Dec. 15 by China — leading to U.S. accusations that the sovereign vessel had been unlawfully seized.

US formally returns large swath of land on Okinawa
U.S. and Japanese representatives came together Thursday, despite protests, to return the largest swath of land to the Japanese government since 1972.


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